Faroese mackerel, herring and blue whiting win MSC certificates — Marine Stewardship Council
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Faroese mackerel, herring and blue whiting win MSC certificates

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Jun 16, 2016

Faroese fisheries landing over half a million tonnes of oily fish each year have been MSC certified as sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

The Faroese herring fishery has been certified since 2012 and this is its first re-certification. The mackerel and blue whiting are new certificates. Faroe is part of the coastal states agreement between Faroe, Norway and the EU on pelagic (mid-water) fishing quotas and, like other MSC certified mackerel fisheries, the FPO has committed to getting all of the mackerel coastal states into agreement on mackerel catches.

The certificates are held by members of the Faroese Pelagic Organisation (FPO) and Felagið Ídnaðarskip (FIV), representing 11 boats in total and employing around 300 fishermen. The boats mostly fish with pelagic (mid-water) trawl nets with the fish stored in refrigerated seawater once on board before processing and sale to Denmark, France, Poland, Russia, and Romania.

Gisli Gislason, MSC manager for Iceland, Faroe and Greenland says: “We are pleased that these certifications are now completed and we are pleased that the fishery client is committed to complete voyage of getting all coastal states into agreement on how to manage and share this resource. That task is imperative to ensure the future health of these fish stocks. “

Jógvan Jespersen, Managing Director at Faroese Pelagic Organization (FPO), Nótaskip added: ”We are pleased that we have now achieved MSC certifications on the 3 most important pelagic fisheries for the members of FPO. These certifications demonstrates that the Faroese fisheries of these 3 pelagic species pass with conditions the requirements which is set in the MSC standards. In all fisheries the conditions is about the need of getting coastal states agreement in place. FPO will continue to be active part of the coastal states negotiations for those species. We hope that all coastal states will in close future agree on TAC allocation for all species.”

International mackerel management

In 2014, the EU, Norway and Faroe Islands agreed a new tripartite agreement for 2014-2018. This sets a clear framework for sustainable mackerel fishing and cooperation between the states. The next milestone in this dialog is to agree long-term quota allocations for Iceland and other third countries. This, in the short term, is partially addressed as the Coastal States set aside an additional quota for third countries, including Iceland. The Faroese fishery’s commitment on the new coastal states agreement is harmonised with other MSC certified mackerel fisheries.

The assessments were carried out by independent auditor Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and took 15 months.

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